Strategically, two paths exist for small and medium business leaders in HR. Option 1 is to focus on short-term cost cutting, versus option 2 – acting strategically with a long-term perspective of human capital management. The strategic focus is contingent on melding together HR processes and functions, such as the following: Human resource Software (HRIS/HRMS), performance management, compensation, learning, workforce analytics, etc.
Technology evolution has played an incredible role in the automation of HR functions that were once paper based and manual – resulting in significant cost savings. Paper processes, such as changing an address, changing a salary, processing a job application, creating a job requisition, benefit enrollment, job promotions, and more can easily be automated. The automation results in 3 key immediate benefits:
– SPEED: Automating these processes can be done quickly, with rapid implementation via technology platforms creating scalable and configurable customizations in just days or weeks. The training required can occur along with deployment, and oftentimes the user experience is simple enough that no training is required.
– COST SAVINGS: HR can enjoy savings of as much as 80% per transaction as previously manual processes occur with a few clicks and no paper. Between employees, managers, and others involved in these processes, hard copies requiring signatures could require anywhere from 3-5 hours to complete. Remember to measure the process. HR software can’t track what it doesn’t measure.
– CREDIBILITY: HR has difficulty thinking strategically when its mission critical data is error-prone and slow to tabulate. Benefits of human resources software automation immediately removes most of that problem. Although errors exist, the are greatly decreased, and the data can be compiled instantly. Exploit the connections of human resource software to compile the data needed to project, think, and execute strategically.
The automation of these separate HR functions, and condensing data silos into a software for human resources, is a tactical exercise. But optimizing HR is a strategic event. The two processes should be done together, leaning on each other and building upon each other to form a streamlined and efficient HR department. Thus, even when real short-term cost cutting is needed, it’s unwise to ignore the impact and long-term benefits of strategic action.